A selection of reviews and previews of Delia Derbyshire Day 2013, 2014 & 2016 including touring events & music-making workshops..

DD Day 2016 at HOME review by David Huggins

“This theme of electronic music’s relation to the visual arts formed the basis of the evening’s programme. The event opened with two films featuring scores by Delia, and in the second half we were treated to new productions that acknowledged her musical influence. The programme began with an introduction from host Caro C, followed by the films One of These Days (dir. Elsa Stansfield & Madelon Hooykaas, 1973) and Two Houses (dir. Elisabeth Kozmian, 1980). I had previously thought that Delia stopped composing after leaving the BBC in 1973, so it was amazing to see these obscure films including her music.”


“What came across here is the passion that all concerned have for Delia’s music, and the huge potential in combining electronic music with visual media….Caro C and David Butler then closed proceedings by thanking the artists and audience, before dedicating the event to Delia herself. This was a wonderful evening, and I look forward to DD Day 2017!”

DD Day 2016 at HOME on Northern Soul by Andy Murray

“A major stumbling block, though, is the question of how to celebrate the career of someone whose complete released recorded output could pretty much fit on a single CD; moreover, how to do so with a live event, and lend it a visual aspect? Happily, this year’s Delia Derbyshire Day pulled it off with aplomb.”


Image by David Petty – DD Day 2016 at HOME, MCR from the projection booth

“It’s all very lively and accessible and the whole enterprise deserves to flourish even further in years to come. Delia herself, one suspects, would have been tickled completely pink.”

Review of DD Day 2016 at HOME by writer and musician Adrian Slatcher

“The big draw of this year’s day were the two films that included Delia’s music. “One of these days” a Dutch film from 1973 sees the camera following a beautiful artist through her day, responding to the world around her, with Delia’s music composed alongside the film maker’s vision. Its a powerful piece of verite, half drama, half faction, and fascinating to see the Amsterdam and Rotterdam of the early seventies so vividly. It was great that the director, Madelon Hooykaas, was able to come along. The second film is more of interest for its historical anomaly – Delia’s piano music accompanying a 1980 film “Two Houses”, a time when it had been thought she was no longer creative. The film itself – arts council funded – is a curio, a slow rumination on regeneration, through two different stories of houses being renovated. The film uses still photography and voiceovers to tell its story. Perhaps we’ve seen too many house makeover shows now, but despite its careful aesthetic it seems mainly of historic interest.The other side of Delia day – alongside her own work – is commissioning artists who can take inspiration from it, and this can be about the music, or about her technique and persona. MMU’s Mary Stark meticulously edited film collage played to a soundtrack of Delia’s sounds, and in its frenetic editing reflected Derbyshire’s own process. Though finished just days before, it echoed an aesthetic that seemed of that late sixties period of experimentation – reminding me a little of a short film from fellow School of Art alumni, John Latham, that was revived a few months ago at the Holden Gallery. An opposite approach was taken with the 2nd commission, by the Architects of Rosslyn who performed a live soundtrack to a series of short films by the excellent Di Mainstone. These films, short intense performance pieces, beautifully executed were accompanied by a mix of musical instruments – acoustic and electronic.”

Feedback from participants on our DD Day 2016 at HOME electronic music-making workshops for families:

“Connie asked if we could do this at home – she wants to make noises in the kitchen.”
“I really loved the event and would do it again 10/10 amazing.”
“Excellent way of introducing music creation to young children – we’ll definitely carry on at home adding to our project and creating more.”
“Make it longer.”
“5 hours would be better.”

A review of DD Day 2013 on ART OF FICTION by Adrian Slatcher

Art of Fiction

I very much doubt if anywhere else in the country there was such a rapt audience on Saturday evening for three new, experimental music pieces; which in itself was a tribute, not just to Delia’s influence, but to those who had been touched by her work. Audience, film maker, panellists and artists came together in what was a perfectly conceived day, and a tribute which, in an ideal world, Delia Derbyshire would have been alive to witness. “


Manchester Salon

“In the final session of the day the Delia Darlings: classical composer and writer Ailís Ní Ríain; artist Naomi Kashiwagi and artist and engineer in sound Caro C, spoke about the work they had done towards creating the Delia Derbyshire Day and about the three compositions that each had written for the event, and being performed later in the evening. It was great to get some insight into the creative process and although each of the artists claimed inspiration from a particular composition by Delia Derbyshire, at the end of the day the compositions were not to be seen as imitative but by each composer in their own right. I couldn’t stay for the evening event, but I did catch it at FACT in Liverpool a few days later.”


Double Negative

“One of the unexpected results of events like this is the realisation that other people share a similar passion to you; that’s got to be a good thing.”

SOUND XP by Matt Hall

Sound Xp

“Not just are The Eccentronic Research Council a pull, but the supporting selection of “Delia Darlings” would be enough to get many of us out by itself. A selection of female composers and a documentary, all inspired by the groundbreaking tape artist of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.”




Guardian University

Guardian dr who

“The godmother of British who helped to create one of the most recognisable TV theme tunes of all time and pioneered the genre through her work in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop is to be commemorated in an inaugural one-day celebration of her work in Manchester.”

BBC NEWS by Colin Paterson

BBC Radio 4

“The first ever “Delia Derbyshire Day” is taking place later in Manchester. The name might not be familiar, but her work will be. In 1963 Delia Derbyshire was working for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop when she converted a Ron Grainer composition into a TV theme-tune which has had children running behind the sofa for 50 years – Dr Who.”

LOUDER THAN WAR – by our DD Day panel host Cath Aubergine:

Louder than war

“I was also well into my chemistry set, Sinclair ZX81 and technical Lego, and gradually realising that toys aimed at boys (admittedly far less so 30 years ago than the blue and pink segregated displays in modern toy shops) were much more fun than those aimed at girls. Little did I know that many of these incredible sounds had been created by a woman who had refused to let gender stereotypes keep her from what she wanted to do.”

F WORD BLOG by Cazz Blaze

F word

CREATIVE TOURIST  by Natalie Bradbury

Creative Tourist

“Derbyshire’s archive, which contains original tapes and other materials, is held by the University of Manchester. David Butler, senior lecturer in screen studies at the university, and who helped bring the archive to Manchester, said that the Delia Darlings were among the first to delve extensively into the archive. “It’s always been our hope that Delia’s tapes and written archive would provide the inspiration for new works responding to her life and extraordinary music,” he says.”

KIT MONSTERS– by Terry Tyldesley

Kit monsters

“Caro and her two fellow organisers have been paying sonic homage to Delia, after spending time with her archives at the University of Manchester. Calling themselves Delia Darlings they are Ailís Ní Ríain (contemporary classical), Naomi Kashiwagi (gramophonica) and Caro (formerly known as caro snatch) and will each perform new work that’s been commissioned for the event and will also tour with it.



“She is a woman as enigmatic as the music that defined her, and Delia Derbyshire – the creator of Dr Who’s signature theme tune – is about to have a day dedicated to her in Manchester.”


BBC news

“It will see experts discuss Derbyshire’s “psycho-acoustics”, the sound experiments she created at the BBC, and include a screening of Kara Blake’s award-winning film, The Delian Mode.”

FACT MAG preview piece:


“BBC Radiophonic Workshop figurehead Delia Derbyshire is to have her contribution to electronic music celebrated with a day of specially programmed events in Manchester.”


Shrieking violet

“Long attributed solely to composer Ron Grainer, the contribution made by sound pioneer Delia Derbyshire, a member of the innovative BBC Radiophonic Workshop, has often been overlooked – but now a Manchester-based group, dubbing themselves ‘Delia Darlings’, are to celebrate her work and legacy with a mini-symposium at Band on the Wall, timed to coincide with the 50th birthday of the series.”


Manchester Gossip

“Delia Darlings will present a mini symposium with an esteemed panel of passionate Delia Derbyshire experts including Mark Ayres, composer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop archivist and David Butler, Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Manchester.”

THE QUIETUS by Jude Rogers

The Quietus

“…this morning was broken with the sound of Delia Derbyshire. 6Music regular Colin Paterson took us to Manchester, where three women calling themselves the Delia Darlings were preparing for an event celebrating their heroine: Delia Derbyshire Day.”

JOURNAL LIVE by Barbara Hodgeson

The Journal

“VISITORS to the Star & Shadow Cinema in Newcastle this month are in for a treat with a programme featuring pioneers from the worlds of electronic music to film-making.”

MULE by Ian Pennington


“…Three local musicians who have been permitted access to the Delia Derbyshire music archives stored at the University of Manchester will present the results of their research, before combining under the moniker Delia Darlings to perform together for the evening concert. The trio – Caro C, Naomi Kashiwagi and Ailís Ní Ríain – have pursued electronic music in different, often abstract ways, but all have been inspired by Derbyshire. Naomi Kashiwagi has developed sounds by manipulating an old gramophone, Caro C has used gadgets from samplers to sequencers, and Ailís Ní Ríain has arrived at a similar place via a contemporary classical route.”

DR WHO NEWS by John Bowman

Dr Who News

“Tomorrow, Band On The Wall, a non-profit venue in Swan Street, Manchester, will be hosting the first Delia Derbyshire Day with performances, screenings, and talks in honour of the composer and arranger.”

KASTERBOROUS by Christian Cawley


“Among the attractions at the event are a screening of Kara Blake’s award-winning documentary The Delian Mode, previously unreleased archive material, an expert panel who will discuss Derbyshire’s influence and the concert premiere of three specially commissioned works by the Delia Darlings.”


Telly Spotting

“At long last (just shy of 50 years to be exact), Saturday was Delia Derbyshire Day in Manchester. Considered the godmother of British electronic music, Derbyshire helped to create one of the most recognizable TV theme tunes of all time, the theme to Doctor Who. Written by Rob Grainer, the Doctor Who theme was then arranged by Delia Derbyshire as part of her groundbreaking 30-year career at the BBC.”

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